Nick Mathews is one of McKool Smith’s brightest stars and one of the nation’s leading litigators in FRAND-related IP patent disputes. His courtroom achievements include representing Ericsson in securing a FRAND defense verdict against HTC Corporation and HTC America in the nation’s first-ever FRAND jury trial along with representing Ericsson in its global patent dispute with Apple. Over the past several years, the licensing and litigation landscape involving SEPs (standard essential patents) and FRAND (fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory) terms has become a major focus as the technology industry and courts around the world grapple with key issues such as “How do you determine what a FRAND licensing rate should be?” and whether a licensor’s offer is FRAND or not. Chambers USA recognizes Nick as one of the nation’s fastest rising IP stars and applauds him for his significant “skills in IP disputes.” Read below to learn more about the trial lawyer and advisor to some of the nation’s most esteemed tech companies.
Why do clients hire you?
I look at each client engagement as a partnership. I am focused on learning my client’s business, understanding their goals and objectives, and becoming immersed in the industries they operate in. This approach allows me to be a critical asset to my clients across many different areas, including serving as an advisor, strategist, market resource, and of course a trial lawyer. I consider many of my clients to be close personal friends, and my number one objective is to always do right by them and position them for success.
Please discuss a noteworthy matter you’ve handled over the past year.
I recently represented Ericsson in its global FRAND dispute with Apple, both at the International Trade Commission (ITC) and in the Eastern District of Texas (EDTX). It was a massive case – the largest in my career so far – and it was a warp speed trial schedule. After successfully fending off an anti-suit injunction related to patent litigation in South America, we went to trial in front of a jury in EDTX before Judge Gilstrap. The case was incredibly hard-fought with talented counsel on both sides. At trial, I presented our very first witness along with our main licensing expert – who played a particularly important role in our case. Needless to say, the stakes were very high. After the fourth day of trial, we reached a confidential settlement ending all global litigation.
What differentiates your practice from others?
I have had meaningful trial roles in some of the biggest and most important FRAND and SEP-related litigation in the United States, including the first FRAND jury trial (HTC v. Ericsson) and one the most high-profile cases in the cellular licensing space (Ericsson v. Apple). These experiences have allowed me to develop a unique skill set and strong track record of success when it comes to navigating standard-essential patents and FRAND issues. I am included in a short list of lawyers who have seen nearly every angle of SEP and FRAND disputes, and my clients, including industry leaders like Ericsson, Nokia, and AT&T look to me for guidance and representation in these quickly evolving areas of law.